Devin Booker was as responsible for the Suns playoff collapse against the Mavericks as anyone on the Suns roster. He shot a combined 9-31 from the field and 0-8 from 3 point land in the final two embarrassing losses for the Suns.
Yet the Suns shouldn’t think twice about offering him the supermax this offseason.
With his All NBA distinction, Devin Booker is now eligible for the NBA’s Super Max this offseason. The deal would not kick in until the 2024/25 season and would last through the 2027/28 NBA season.
The deal would pay Booker $47.1, $50.4, $54.6, $58.4 million dollars over the four years of the deal.
Now its a bit weird to make this deal now when it won’t start for two more full seasons. A lot can and will change in the next two years. Injuries, personal challenges and team changes could all wildly change the feeling around that contract over the next two years.
In fact, here’s the list of current NBA players that were playing on a supermax this season: Steph Curry, Giannis, Luka Doncic, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Damien Lillard, John Wall, Rudy Goebert and Russell Westbrook.
That’s about a 50% hit rate for guys that you’d still want to be paying the supermax.
Is Devin Booker more likely to be a bargain or an albatross if the Suns offer him the supermax?
Everything about Devin Booker, his playoff fade notwithstanding, screams a player getting better. Not only does he have the mental discipline you’d want when rewarding a player at a supermax level, he has largely avoided the kind of injury history that would give you pause.
The only downside to a supermax for Booker is he’s more Lillard than Luka. Meaning, he’s more likely to be a 1B than your best player on a championship contender.
None of that should preclude the Suns from offering it, however and we have two examples locally to prove it.
In Phoenix, success for our teams doesn't come easily or often. The franchises need anchors to tether fans to the teams otherwise those fans will just drift back to whatever team they rooted for before moving here.
Devin Booker can be that anchor.
The Arizona Diamondbacks traded their anchor in Paul Goldschmidt and haven’t been the same since.
The Arizona Cardinals anchored their franchise to Larry Fitzgerald and while the team experienced some success, no one every complained about paying Larry Fitzgerald above market value for most of his career on not so good teams.
Devin Booker can have the same impact on the Suns franchise.
Offering Booker the supermax should be the easiest decision the Suns make this offseason.
Paying Booker is a lot less riskier than not paying Devin Booker.